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How Long Do I Need to Wear My Retainer?

Congratulations on your new smile! If you have just gotten your braces removed or have just completed your Invisalign journey, your orthodontist has likely given you a retainer. One of our most frequently asked questions by our patients is – how long do I need to wear my retainer?

Congratulations on your new smile! If you have just gotten your braces removed or have just completed your Invisalign journey, your orthodontist has likely given you a retainer. One of our most frequently asked questions by our patients is – how long do I need to wear my retainer?

Read on for a simple explanation on how retainers work, and why you should be disciplined in wearing them post-treatment! 

Why Is A Retainer Necessary?

Our teeth alignment is constantly shifting throughout our life. Our chewing habits, grinding teeth, tooth decay, and even aging are a few of many possible reasons that result in the shifting of our teeth

Wearing a retainer that keeps the teeth in the correct position is essential to prevent them from getting misaligned again. It is so important to take these preventative measures to ensure that you won’t have to go through another round of braces or Invisalign. 

Choosing Your Retainer

The good news is, like braces, there are different kinds of retainers you can choose from to suit your lifestyle. 

  1. Permanent or Bonded Retainers: 

    Permanent or bonded retainers are permanently adhered to the back of your teeth to fix them in their existing straightened alignments. The upside? They are not visible like braces and you don’t need to fuss about taking them out when eating. This type of retainer can last for years and is a great option for those who often forget to wear their retainer. 

  2. Removable Metal Retainers

    These retainers are usually made of plastic or acrylic and an accompanying wireframe that holds the teeth in a fixed position. The benefits? It is removable, does not stain easily, and can last for a few years before replacement.

  3. Removable Clear Plastic Retainers

    These are simple plastic retainers molded to the shape of your teeth set that can be easily removed during meals. Our patients love these retainers for their invisibility and comfort. 

Phases of Wearing A Retainer

Wondering how frequently and how long you need to wear your retainers? Here is a simple breakdown of the common phases you will go through: 

Phase 1 ( 2 years):

After completing your braces or Invisalign treatment, you will need to wear your retainer 8-10 hours a night at bedtime for up to 2 years. If you can not wear them in your sleep, wear them 8-10 hours per day.

Phase 2 (Maintenance):

Going forward, most orthodontists would still recommend that you continue with regular retainer wear. While after a few years the bones around your teeth help to keep the new positions in place, there are still chances it can slowly shift over time.

Want your smile to last a lifetime? We would recommend you continue to wear your retainers 3-5 times every week just to keep them in the right place.

Ready to Learn More?

If you’re looking for an orthodontist in Gainesville, VA, contact us today to get started on your smile journey! 

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